- Museum number
Object: Great Western general booking office.
Series: Political Sketches
No. 499. A man standing behind a counter at left (Daniel O'Connell), addressing a group of men queueing to buy rail tickets (at the start of the queue, John Arthur Roebuck and John Bowring); a man in foreground at centre right, holding a ticket lettered with 'Kilkenny' in his left hand, walking away towards right; two men watching from behind the door at far right (Emmerson Tennent and Sir James Graham); state before or after publication date altered. 31 August 1837
- Production date
Height: 280 millimetres (approximately)
Width: 366 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from 'An Illustrative Key to the Political Sketches of H.B.', London 1841:
The following extract from a most piteous paragraph which appeared in the 'True Sun', and in the 'Examiner', of the 6th of August, 1837, will help to elucidate this admirable sketch:-
"THE LOSSES OF THE REFORMERS. There are four members of the late House of Commons likely to be excluded from the next Parliament; we allude to Mr. Roebuck, Colonel Thompson, Mr. Ewart, and Dr. Bowring. We call upon Mr. O'Connell to use his known influence for the purpose of replacing them. Mr. O'Connell has the power of securing for the nation the services of all these gentlemen, and we can scarcely conceive that he will neglect such an opportunity of proving to the world that his patriotism is not merely provincial but national - that the object of his love is not merely Ireland, but mankind."
Foolish and ungrateful Great Britain! that left it to the arbitrary will of an Irish individual to secure for thee the invaluable services of these immense patriots!! How could such wholesale charity be expected? There stands the "individual," (See No. CCCXCIII for the term "individual,") the seat-owner for Ireland, in the capacity of a book-keeper at the Great Western Railway-Office, and before him stand the rejected of Great Britain, more than are named by the 'Examiner', supplicating for seats. The supply, however, is much less than the demand. The diminutive person of Mr. Roebuck, who appears to have travelled from Bath, on foot, and resembles the Honourable Richard Dowlas, in the comedy of the Heir-at-Law, with all his luggage tied up in the Honourable Richard Dowlas's red and white pocket-handkerchief, is ludicrously contrasted with the gigantic figure of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, who had just lost his seat for Weymouth. Dr. Bowring, looking through his spectacles, is a perfect model of patience, though not of resignation. The only fortunate applicant is Mr. Joseph Hume, who is walking off with a ticket inscribed Kilkenny, where the office-keeper has just booked him for a seat. At the door are seen two other gentlemen, whose "services" their ungrateful constituencies have respectively thought proper to decline, namely, Mr. Emmerson Tennent and Sir James Graham; but though the former has lost his seat for Belfast, and the latter his seat for East Cumberland, they seem to have no intention of entering this office, being well aware that it is not the office for Conservatives.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number